To incubate a Social Procurement Initiative for British Columbia that supports local governments and institutional purchasers in implementing social procurement best practices
Local governments and institutional purchasers in British Columbia have access to professional development, resources and advice to develop tools and skills to implement social procurement
To improve the health of our communities and the strength of our economies by changing the culture of public sector procurement
Are the dollars you spend supporting your local economy?
In British Columbia, local governments and other large purchasers spend billions of dollars each year on goods, services and infrastructure projects. This purchasing power could open doors to employment, increase local training, support local businesses and provide multiple community benefits. Social procurement is legal, do-able and makes a meaningful difference.
Social procurement is a growing best practice that aligns procurement spend to provide added value and community benefits. The British Columbia Social Procurement Initiative (BCSPI) aims to take this best practice thinking and approach, and help build a more resilient and more inclusive Province.
What Is Social Procurement?
Social procurement is an additional way that governments and purchasers can direct resources towards community benefit. Since 2016, BCSPI members have been identifying ways to integrate social procurement principles and actions into their purchasing processes.
Watch this short video from BCSPI Partner, Buy Social Canada
Why is Social Procurement Important?
Communities today are facing complex social, economic and environmental challenges. Every year, local governments across BC award contracts for goods and services with significant public funds. Social procurement focuses on ‘best value for money’ beyond just a financial transaction. It is becoming an increasingly expected practice that RFPs include local community and environmental impact assessments and goals, at all levels of government. Procurement becomes a tool for building healthy communities.
How Can Social Procurement Create Additional Value?
Social procurement can be adapted to meet specific community needs. Some communities have integrated into RFPs criteria such as employment of marginalized population groups, local food, housing affordability, community engagement, local economic revitalization, beautification and cultural amenities. The first step is identifying what your community’s challenges and needs are, and how procurement can help address them.
Social Procurement In Action
These local case studies from BCSPI member communities provide great ideas for how to begin implementing social procurement. They also discuss important outcomes and lessons learned throughout each process.
BCSPI members have engaged in training of staff and vendors and accessed tools, templates, and consultation support to adopt social procurement practices. To-date BCSPI members have launched over 50 initial pilot projects, creating over $200 million in social procurement spend.
Read the CCSPI Phase 1 Report
CCSPI was established in 2018 as a pilot for local governments on Vancouver Island and in the Coastal Communities to test and implement social procurement practices.
In it’s 2-year pilot phase, CCSPI members realized over $200 million in social procurement spend by adding social value to their purchasing practices, generating significant community benefits from existing procurement dollars at a time when their local economies needed it most.
This report chronicles the first two years of the Initiative, which is unique in Canada as a regional approach, and how these new practices that can help to unlock additional social value from an organization’s existing spending are changing the culture of public sector procurement.
BCSPI is governed by a steering committee made up of elected officials and staff at which all local government members are invited to sit.
The steering committee meets quarterly and oversees the work of the initiative. Quarterly steering committee reports are available to all members via the BCSPI member portal.